The Power of Being Bored

Boredom, in today’s world, is fleeting. Because of our phones — supercomputers, but pocket-sized — we’re never more than a moment away from something to distract us from our idle time (battery life permitting). That may seem like a bad thing — our brains need a rest and chores, like doing dishes or taking out the trash, need attending to. But it turns out, there may be an even greater benefit to being bored. To figure out why, let’s read a phone book. Nah, that sounds terrible. Instead, let’s read about other people who were instructed to read a phone book. For those of you who are too young to know what a “phone book” is, there’s one pictured above. That section or book was called the “white pages,” and it contained a listing of people, addresses, and their phone numbers. (Some businesses or municipal offices were sometimes published in larger type and/or highlighted, but you get the point.) If you want to read a good, engaging book, there are plenty of other options. If you want to read something boring, read the phone book. That’s what Dr. Sandi Mann, a philosophy professor at the University of Central Lancashire, decided to … Continue reading The Power of Being Bored